Radiation has strong positive association with biological aging in analyses examining different breast cancer therapies
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, July 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is associated with accelerated biological aging, according to a study published online July 19 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Jacob K. Kresovich, Ph.D., from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, and colleagues generated DNA methylation data on paired blood samples collected an average of 7.7 years apart among 417 women enrolled in the prospective Sister Study cohort. Data were used to calculate three epigenetic metrics of biological aging. Overall, 190 of the women sampled were diagnosed and treated for breast cancer between blood draws (diagnoses occurred an average of 3.5 years after the initial blood draw) and 227 remained free of breast cancer.
The researchers found that compared with women who remained cancer-free, those diagnosed and treated for breast cancer had higher biological aging at the second blood draw as measured by all three metrics and after accounting for covariates and biological aging metrics measured at baseline. Radiation had a strong positive association with biological aging in case-only analyses assessing associations with different breast cancer therapies.
“Radiation is a valuable treatment option for breast cancer, and we don’t yet know why it was most strongly associated with biological age,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This finding supports efforts to minimize radiation exposures when possible and to find ways to mitigate adverse health effects among the approximately 4 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.”
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